Preps Talk

High School Lites second round football capsules and picks

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High School Lites second round football capsules and picks

NBC Sports Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the IHSA playoffs' second round edition of High School Lites, Saturday at 11:00 p.m. Who wins the “East” battle when top-ranked Lincoln-Way East takes on St. Charles East?  Can Oswego beat Glenbard West on Glenbard East’s field? Can the Curie Condors make it two shockers in a row when they host Marist at Rockne Stadium? Also: who you got this week in the Fox Valley Super Bowl? 

Class 8A

(1) Lincoln-Way East at (17) St. Charles East, 1 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Top-ranked Lincoln-Way East features a highly efficient offense, led by senior QB Brendan Morrissey. They also boast one of the state's top defenses, led by Northwestern commit DE Devin O'Rourke. St. Charles East wants to run the football. They have a nice mix of athletes with senior QB Clayton Isbell, senior RB/S Nick Garlisch and junior RB Justin Jett in the Saints’ option attack. Can the Lincoln-Way East defense take the running game away from St. Charles East? 

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way East 27, St. Charles East 14

(9) Oswego vs. (8) Glenbard West, 1 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Oswego plays hard-nosed, smash-mouth football. They play physical defense and run the football behind junior big back Charles Coleman (6-foot-2, 220 pounds). The Panthers also are big on the offensive line. Glenbard West also will look to run first with Dre Thomas, Tyquan Cox and Ryan Diver. Hilltoppers senior QB Alex Hollensbe is more than capable in the play-action passing game. Can Oswego run the football this week against the always-tough Hitters defense? Expect a hard hitting and extremely physical matchup here. 

EDGY's Pick: Glenbard West 21, Oswego 20

(3) Marist at (19) Curie, 3 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Curie and head coach Jay McDonagh stunned Lyons Township in the opening round.  The Condors pounded out nearly 500 yards of offense on the ground in the 46-28 win. Keep an eye on senior QB Ja'ki McNeail along with senior RB Antonion Howard and junior RB AJ Sayna. Marist will spread the field behind junior QB Mike Markett and a deep group of skills. The Redhawks defense has talent including DE Gavin McCabe (Indiana) and DT Elijah Teague (Minnesota). Can the Marist defense slow down the Curie running attack? Can the Curie defense contain Marist’s multiple weapons on Saturday?

EDGY's Pick: Marist 31, Curie 20

(11) Hinsdale Central at (6) Loyola, 1 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Loyola Academy needed to hang on and withstand a fourth quarter comeback to beat neighborhood rival New Trier 35-32 last week. Loyola also saw standout QB Quinn Boyle leave with an injury. His status for this week is unknown. Hinsdale Central has beaten teams this season with a balanced offense, led by junior QB Matt Rush, TE Matt Bjorson (Indiana), WR/RB Garrett Oakey. Their defense has been consistently strong. Will Loyola have a healthy Quinn Boyle this week? Can the Hinsdale Central offense dent the always-tough Loyola defense? Check the starting lineups, then be prepared for a great game here. 

EDGY's Pick: Loyola Academy 21, Hinsdale Central 19

Class 7A

(2) Normal Community at (18) Mount Carmel, noon

EDGY's Take: Normal Community and had coach Wes Temples has been strong this season behind QB Daylan Boddie. The Ironmen have size on both sides of the line including OL Marcellus Johnson (Eastern Michigan) and senior DL Dalton Tevis. Mount Carmel and Hall of Fame head coach Frank Lenti and have shuffled their personnel on offense a bit. It has helped, as they have been rolling of late. The Caravan will look towards its offensive backfield with QB Radomir Premovic, RB Kyle Davis and RB Aristotle Nakos along with speedy WR Alek Thomas to counter a solid Normal Community defensive front. Can the Ironmen win on the road at Gately? Can the Caravan's defense contain Normal’s speedy offensive skills?

EDGY's Pick: Mount Carmel 27, Normal Community 21

(11) St. Rita at (6) St. Charles North, 2 p.m.

EDGY's Take: St. Rita and head coach Todd Kuska are also having quarterback issues. Last week, Kuska had to bring in his third string QB Mick Doyle. He led the Mustangs to a 31-14 win over Simeon. The Mustangs will again rely on its running game led by senior RB Chris Childers (Indiana State) and a strong defense. St. Charles North has been lighting up the scoreboard behind senior QB Michael Hohensee, junior WR/DB Ty Nubin and senior RB Lucas Segobiano. Can the St. Rita defense slow down the North Stars’ potent offense? Can the Mustangs offense keep moving the chains regardless of who's under center?

EDGY's Pick: St. Charles North 31, St. Rita 20

Class 6A

(1) Prairie Ridge at (9) Cary-Grove, 1 p.m.

EDGY's Take: It’s the Fox Valley Super Bowl, Part 2. Both Prairie Ridge and Cary-Grove run nearly identical triple option offenses. Their defenses are similar. Both have big time players and no one knows each other better than the Wolves know the Trojans (and vice-versa). Prairie Ridge is paced by senior QB Samson Evans (Iowa) and senior OL/DL Jeff Jenkins (Iowa) while Cary Grove will rely on senior RB Max Skol, senior QB Quinn Priester plus senior OL/DL Brett Groves (SIU). Can you say an overtime (or three) here?

EDGY's Pick: Prairie Ridge 28, Cary Grove 27 in OT

(5) DeKalb at (4) Willowbrook, 1:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Matt Weckler’s DeKalb Barbs have taken big strides towards becoming a 6A power. They feature a balanced offensive attack led by QB Noah Valin and with junior RB Jaylen Hobson. Willowbrook, coached by Nick Hildreth, is playing at a high level. The program has been gaining momentum over the past few seasons. The Warriors will rely on bruising senior RB Jack Jessen plus QB John Taylor. Can DeKalb win the line of scrimmage and slow down Willowbrook and RB Jack Jessen? 

EDGY's Pick: DeKalb 24, Willowbrook 21

(7) Hoffman Estates at (15) Lake Forest, 1 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Hoffman Estates stunned CCL DeLaSalle 34-0 to advance. The Hawks will look to QB Austin Coalson and a deep group of skills on offense. Take note of Purdue commit WR/LB Jaylan Alexander and senior WR Jayvon Blissett. Lake Forest also looked solid in its win last week over Riverside-Brookfield 35-19. Senior QB Jack Mislinski once again played well in leading the Scouts’ offense. Can the Lake Forest defense contain the multiple weapons from Hoffman Estates?

EDGY's Pick: Hoffman Estates 34, Lake Forest 24

(8) St. Laurence at (16) Hinsdale South, 6 p.m.

EDGY's Take: St. Laurence got a school record-setting performance from RB Tori Clinton who gained 416 of the Vikings 556 yards on the ground in it's 48-28 win over Quincy last week. Hinsdale South, the last team to make the IHSA state playoff field, stunned top-seeded Crete-Monee 28-20 to advance. The Hornets will look to senior WR Destin Talbot and senior QB Justin Kolzow to carry the load. They have a speedy and athletic team on both sides of the football. Can the Hinsdale South defense slow down St. Laurence and RB Tori Clinton? Can the Vikings defense get a handle on the Hornets potent offense? 

EDGY's Pick: Hinsdale South 35, St. Laurence 34

67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest

67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Hillcrest

Head coach: Morgan Weaver

Assistant coaches:  Mike Young, Kyran Weaver, Rob Hancock, Ryan Keen, Nicholas Schultz, Tramaine Weaver, Phillip Burkett and Langdon Mattox

How they fared in 2017: 9-3 (5-1 South Suburban Blue Conference). Hillcrest made the Class 5A state football playoff field. The Hawks defeated Peoria and Glenwood then lost to Dunlap in the quarterfinal round.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Rich Central

Sept. 1 @ Rich South

Sept 7 @ Shepard

Sept. 14 vs Oak Forest

Sept. 21 vs Lemont

Sept. 28 @ Tinley Park

Oct. 5 @ T.F. South

Oct. 12 @ T.F. North

Oct. 19 vs Bremen

[MORE: 79 Days to Kickoff - Crete-Monee]

Biggest storyline: Consistency. After two straight postseason berths, can the Hawks reload and get back into the IHSA playoff field once again this fall?

Names to watch this season: WR Corey Crooms (Western Michigan) and DE Cam Mattox (NIU)

Biggest holes to fill: The Hawks welcome back 11 returning starters (six offense, five defense); hoewever, they will need to reload on the offensive line and at linebacker. 

EDGY's Early Take: Head coach Morgan Weaver was able to get the Hawks into the state playoffs in his first season. What can they do as an encore? Hillcrest has the potential to be a real threat in 5A. Keep an eye on a strong and experienced group of receivers and backs led by senior Corey Crooms (Western Michigan). They also boast a defense that features an experienced secondary and a ton of speed. 

68 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East

68 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Oswego East

Head coach: Tyson LeBlanc

Assistant coaches: Dan Dunbar, Andy Brogan, Jeremy Main, Erik Aister, Dru Filkins, Connor Downs, Zac Sadek, Reggie Cribbs and Mike Harden

How they fared in 2017: 7-3 (7-2 Southwest Prairie Conference). Oswego East made the Class 8A state football playoff field. The Wolves lost to St. Charles East in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Plainfield East

Aug. 31 @ Joliet West

Sept. 7 vs Romeoville

Sept. 14 vs Joliet Central

Sept. 21 @ Plainfield South

Sept. 28 @ Plainfield North

Oct. 5 vs Oswego

Oct. 12 vs Plainfield Central

Oct. 19 vs Minooka

[MORE: 73 Days to Kickoff - Joliet Central]

Biggest storyline: Can the Wolves get out of the rugged Southwest Prairie conference and make a run in the IHSA state playoffs?

Names to watch this season: ATH Justin Clark and WR Kieon Battle

Biggest holes to fill: The Wolves will need to replace their entire starting defensive line from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Oswego East head coach Tyson LeBlanc is shooting to make the IHSA playoff field and the fourth straight year in 2018. He has a 36-24 record since coming over from Curie High School back in 2012. Oswego East will rely on a strong group of returning offensive skills led by D-1 recruit Justin Clark, who can --and will-- play multiple positions this season for the Wolves.